As part of Susan Slusser’s daily notes for the San Francisco Chronicle on the Athletics this morning, a little tidbit regarding the middle infield situation came to light. The man who was once declared to be the only Athletics player Billy Beane was unwilling to listen on, is no longer untouchable. Jemile Weeks, who burst onto the scene back in 2011 and got the A’s to trade longtime second baseman Mark Ellis to make room for him, has fallen out of favor.
To anyone who can perform simple math equations (like 2+2 perhaps?), this news should come as no surprise whastoever. When Weeks was finally sent back down to Triple A last season after never being able to replicate his strong 2011 performance, he may have ruffled some feathers in the organization with his outgoing comments.
"“I didn’t get any word, but I would hope. Even going down there, I would hope I’m still something the team feels they can still use and needs. But at the end of the day, I’m going to be a star in this game, man. You’ve got to have your ups and downs. It just makes the story so much sweeter when you come back. I don’t want to expound too much on it, but you’re looking at a star, period.” – From John Shea at the San Francisco Chronicle in August 2012"
July 30, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics second baseman Jemile Weeks (19) slides to third base on a triple during the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the Twins 8-3. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
There’s no telling who exactly didn’t react positively to Weeks proclaiming his future stardom after being sent to the minors, but it’s clear that it was someone with some influence on the decisions of Billy Beane, or Beane himself. The problem with his comments was that it didn’t show a great deal of humility and understanding of why he was being sent down. His comments gave the impression that he didn’t feel he deserved to be going to Sacramento, but he absolutely did.
So it came as no surprise that throughout the course of this season thus far, Jemile Weeks has continued to toil away in the minor leagues, even while middle infielders in Oakland struggled at times. There have been many opportunities the get Weeks back to Oakland, and they haven’t been taken, and that speaks volumes. Now it is starting to look more and more like that call for Weeks may never come.
So with the team’s apparent willingness to move Weeks, for what asking price we don’t know, chances are his days with the organization may be numbered. Despite the recent struggles of Adam Rosales, and perhaps a groundswell growing within the organization to replace his role in the platoon with Eric Sogard with perhaps Hiroyuki Nakajima or Grant Green (#FreeGrantGreen), Weeks finds himself on the outside looking in. While Sogard himself might be playing just well enough to stay where he is, the potential for a truly dynamic force in his place is there with Weeks, but it appears that resource will be left untapped.
But perhaps the Athletics can extract other useful pieces in exchance for Weeks if they do decide to move him. The team can certainly use some help in the bullpen, as the last week has demonstrated, and perhaps some starting pitching help as well. Weeks should be able to fetch something of value despite the rough year and a half he’s endured. If he gets his swing flattened out, and no longer puts the ball in the air at the rate he did last year in Oakland, he’ll be able to get back to his former self that ignited the A’s offense in 2011. It just may not take place in Oakland.